This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Popular Vote Award in the urban transformation category. See the full list of winners here.
It doesn’t take much to see the appeal of Bridge Bounce, Atelier Zundel Cristea’s scheme to introduce a bridge of inflatable trampolines upon which one can bounce his or her way across the Seine River. The project brings together our fervor for urban waterfront revival with our fascination with temporary architectural interventions, and it takes the form of an oversized, adult-friendly moon-bounce, which, needless to say, can resonate with anyone’s inner child.
Citing what they have termed “Urban Gathering,” or the contemporary impetus to create “a specific urban sense of time through a scheduled series of varied ephemeral events,” Atelier Zundel Cristea dreamt up Bridge Bounce as a low-cost and low-ecological-impact way of offering playful new experiences in the city, much in the same vein as the artificial beachfronts that colonize the banks of the Seine every summer, part of Mayor Bertrand Delanoë’s popularly acclaimed Paris-Plages project.
Proposed for installation near the permanent Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Bridge Bounce “allows every visitor a novel view of Paris from his or her own unique spatial position: upright and leaping, upside down and tumbling, [or] gliding above like a circus performer,” the firm explains. The Seine and its surrounding urban fabric are to be experienced with an unprecedented “joyful release from gravity.”
Part of the charm of the modular, compressed-air construction is its impermanent aesthetic, its embrace of its own finite existence. But as any practicing architect would guess, even such minimalist temporary programs are difficult to execute. “The most challenging aspect for us comes now in trying to build it,” the firm stated ingenuously. In the meantime, Bridge Bounce and its immense popularity attest to the power of unbuilt architecture to captivate and inspire us.